At his Online Town Hall meeting this morning, President Obama joked about the overwhelming popularity of marijuana legalization questions on his online forum.
Well, Mr. President, if you “don’t know what this says about the online audience,” allow me to clue you in. We’re more than just some nicknames on a computer screen. We’re Americans and we have the same right as anyone else to be heard and to be treated with respect.
As nearly a million among us are arrested each year for marijuana, it should come as no surprise to you that we’ve come together to ask why. The reason you find us in every category of your site is because the harms of the war on drugs reach into every facet of American life. Drug prohibition destroys all it touches and there is scarcely a problem we face as a nation that couldn’t be made more manageable by ending this great war that continues to stigmatize and divide us.
You can trivialize and dismiss our argument, but you cannot silence our movement. You make us more powerful with every public forum you hold.
Update: This quote from Jack Cole at LEAP pretty much sums it up:
“Despite the president’s flippant comments today, the grievous harms of marijuana prohibition are no laughing matter. Certainly, the 800,000 people arrested last year on marijuana charges find nothing funny about it, nor do the millions of Americans struggling in this sluggish economy. It would be an enormous economic stimulus if we stopped wasting so much money arresting and locking people up for nonviolent drug offenses and instead brought in new tax revenue from legal sales, just as we did when we ended alcohol prohibition 75 years ago during the Great Depression.”
– Article from Stop the Drug War (DRCNet).